FAMILY TALK: We Deserve To Know About Teachers

But what are we to make of data that experts say is flawed?

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the . With some calling the assessment process, many parents are left wondering about the accuracy of the data.

At the same time, we've seen for alleged sexual abuse. In some instances, parents at the affected schools were shocked to learn that prior incidents were "noted" on the offending teacher's file.

My kids attend a private Catholic school. Still, I was no less horrified when I read that a teacher previously accused of inappropriate conduct, Wilbert Cortez, was reportedly able to find work at another school. The New York post reported that only this month, after a string of alleged sex abuse incidents, were principals given access to employee misconduct files when picking staff.

Evidentally, we need to be concerned not only with the teachers' capabilities as educators, but also that they aren't going to harm kids. NY1 counted five NYC Dept. of Education employees who were arrested this month, and I must add the macabre qualifier that the tally is as of Tuesday.

It’s obvious that these cases do not represent the majority, but we still can’t turn a blind eye.

I may have veered into a different topic's territory, but the point that I am trying to stress is that we do deserve to know all that we can about the people that are spending six or more hours a day with our children.

We need an open and full assessment of competency and suitability—and it should go without saying that the information we do receive needs to be reliable. Let's hope that next time, the heads of the DOE are competent enough in their own right to provide data we can understand and trust.

Neal Madnick March 01, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Interestingly despite the fact that you pay tuition to your Parochial school you are NOT provided the type of information that you recommend be released on public school teachers.
cmjake March 01, 2012 at 01:51 PM
" Let's hope that next time, the heads of the DOE are competent enough in their own right to provide data we can understand and trust." Yes! The data used for these reports were inaccurate. The teachers, administrators and the DOE know that. The parents don't. Chancellor Wolcott sent an email to the teachers. "We want to be clear on where we stand: the data is now two years old, and it would be irresponsible for the press to use this information in isolation to render judgments about individual teachers. The data does not tell the whole story of your work as a teacher." He then went on to say: "Although we can’t control how reporters use this information, we will work hard to make sure parents and the public understand how to interpret the Teacher Data Reports." The other day Bloomberg came out in support of the release of the reports, stating that "The arrogance of some people to say that the parents don't have the ability to look at numbers, and put them in context and to make decisions is just astounding to me." But the numbers were generated using flawed data. I know the data used for my report and it is inaccurate. I know the data used for other teachers and the public doesn't know the full story. A sad day for all of us involved in the education of the children in NYC. Shame.


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